Last year I did a reflection of 2008 and posted something for every month. I wanted to do the same this year but I just don't have enough to say about every month in 2009. In fact, 2009 in general, was a different year. It was a year of learning new lessons, exploring new territory and taking on new challenges.
This year was a time of growing closer to the Lord and learning to rely on Him and Him alone. In January we began dealing with a challenge of an unsaved loved one and some circumstances that we never would have imagined we'd have to face. Dirk and I together learned to rely only on God and to talk to each other more frequently about what we were feeling and thinking.
In February we learned that I was getting laid off from what I thought was my dream job. We stayed strong, trusting in the Lord but I was so crushed inside. I loved the school that I had worked at for 5 1/2 years and I wanted so bad to stay there. I learned to trust in God fully for all circumstances whether I thought it was what was best for me or not.
As the months went by I started to re-evaluate what I really wanted to do with my life, knowing that God has the ultimate say. When things get thrown around in your life you really start to scrutinize your motives and your desires. Looking back I see that this was the time when God was preparing me for the great news that was to come only a few months down the road.
In June we got the best news of all, although at the time I think I was scared to death. We were going to have a baby!!!We waited until my first doctor's appointment and finally told all of our family. Of course our whole family was super excited, as were we. Finding out that I was pregnant changed my perspective on life even more so. My focus was no longer on how badly I wanted to go back to my old school but rather, "What can I do so that I can stay home with this precious baby God has given me?" I applied for a job that I thought would be the ideal job and waited all summer to hear back from them.
In the meantime, Dirk and I went on one of the most memorable trips I think we'll ever have (only second to our honeymoon). We took a road trip up the CA and OR coasts. It was such an amazing time. We talked and laughed and just enjoyed each other's company. It was one of the best times we've had.
We drove up the coast to San Francisco, stopping in places like Solvang and San Simeon.
We finally reached San Francisco and saw all the sites and ate a TON of amazing food.
After a few days in San Fran we headed up the Oregon coast stopping to spend some quality time with Dirk's grandparents. We got to look at his mom's baby pictures and hear stories from Grandma. It was a really special time.
Our final destination was Portland, OR where we continued to eat some amazing food and check out the sites and Dirk decided that he wants to live there someday. We'll see about the baby and I coming along ;-)
In August I still hadn't heard from the job I had applied for and it was time for the Harvest Crusades. This is always a hectic time for Dirk but this year it was really different. The day before the crusades I got called back to the school district. I was in Target when I got the voicemail. I was devastated and confused. I was not the same person I was when I left school in June. I was now going to be a mommy and the thought of teaching full time and juggling housework and a baby was unbearable. On top of all of that I learned that I would not be returning to my school but to another school which was very different from the school I was at. I think I balled all through Target which is very unlike me (thanks pregnancy hormones!) Dirk called me and tried to calm me down and it worked some but I was so confused. The entire weekend Dirk and I just prayed and finally came to the conclusion that God wanted me to go back to work. I reluctantly unpacked all of my classroom supplies and had two weeks to get everything in order and ready for the 34 fifth graders I would be teaching this year. Again, another time of trusting the Lord and knowing that He knows best.
September 23rd. the day before Dirk's 27th birthday, we found out we were having a baby girl!
In came the flood of pink and we couldn't be happier.
The rest of the year has really seemed like it just flew by. Our mindsets both changed from the small things to focusing on planning and prepping for baby Dallas. We've been reading a ton of books, talking with each other about all of the issues we'll be facing and/or are facing, and prepping the house for her arrival.
When I really look back at 2009 I feel like there are so many negative things we can focus on but God is a God of grace and mercy. He has reminded me, yet again, that He is all I need and that He knows how my story ends. Trials and tribulations do come, but when Christ is the center of our lives He brings good out of situations and makes us better people for His glory. I can actually say today that I am thankful for the hardships that were placed before us this year, as it has brought Dirk and I even closer than I thought we ever could be and has, most importantly, brought us closer to the Lord.
There are so many uncertainties that come with 2010 but I am ready and excited. I'm sure that next year's end of the year post will look much different and will have many baby pictures to share. Until then, I pray that you are able to see the amazing things that God has done in your life in 2009 and that He blesses you abundantly in 2010. Happy New Year!!!